Fernando Alonso Goes Faster, Still 4th On Day 4

We're pretty sure Alonso has the Indianapolis Motor Speedway figured out now.

101st Indianapolis 500 - Practice
Michael Hickey—Getty Images

Thursday's Indy 500 practice came with great weather and high speeds. Jay Howard, who hasn't raced an IndyCar since 2011 went to the top of the time sheets with a speed of 226.744 mph. He was just as surprised as anyone else. 

Josef Newgarden was the first to wreck his car this week. The clean-up didn't take very long, and the field had lots of green flag running. A total of 2,362 laps were driven around the 2.5-mile oval on Thursday.

Fernando Alonso found the confidence in the car he's been looking for. His best lap of 225.619 mph was good enough for a solid fourth place for the day. Besides Howard, the others in front of Alonso were his Andretti Autosport teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marco Andretti. Their times were 225.826 and 225.709 mph. 

On track, Alonso wasn't just running at the same speeds as his teammates, he was making his way around the speedway like a seasoned veteran. He was drafting, passing, going three wide into corners while blowing by the other two cars. We're pretty sure Alonso has this oval thing figured out. 

Up next is "Fast Friday". The teams are allowed to turn up the turbo chargers from 130 kilopascals to 140 kPa, which gives them about a 30-horsepower boost. We'll be watching to see how it all shakes out when things get serious. Friday is the last full practice day before qualifying starts on Saturday.

Fast Friday starts at 12pm EDT and can be live-streamed here.